Mariners Insider Blog

Mariners cobble together just enough for Hernandez

The Mariners had runners on. And runners on. And ... you get the picture.

They were leveraging Angels starter Joe Blanton, of the 7.84 ERA and .426 BAA by lefties coming into the game, no less. Yet, they found a way out of the scoring much of the night.

When Jesus Montero slammed a two-run homer to left-center in the sixth, he pulled the Mariners even and provided hope another Felix Hernandez performance would not be wasted in Seattle's eventual 3-2 win.

Hernandez was down 2-0 because Chris Iannetta of the Flying Iannettas hit a solo homer off him in the third and Mike Trout hit a sacrifice fly later that inning. Iannetta had been 0-for-8 coming in against Hernandez, who said he hung a slider to Iannetta.

Hernandez's ERA is down to 1.90 and WHIP 0.96, yet he's barely 3-2. What else is new?

Some quick hitters from the Mariners' 10th win of the season:

> Hernandez conceded he was a bit tired after eight innings though he had thrown just 95 pitches. Postgame, his elbow, shoulder and lower back were wrapped in ice. That was quite a load, even for a guy who had just pitched.

> Montero said Mark Trumbo -- 6-4, 220 pounds -- steaming toward him on a safety squeeze was "scary." It turned out to be a crucial play in the game when Hernandez flipped Brendan Harris' bunt with his glove to Montero who blocked the plate to pick up the out in the fourth inning.

> Montero's homer, his second of the season, begrudgingly dragged the Mariners into the scoring column. They left 11 runners on base Saturday night and almost let a game between Hernandez and a struggling starter on the other side slip away.

> Also, Montero when asked about Hernandez dominating again: "Like always. He throws invisible ball."

> Kendrys Morales was taking a routine day off before pinch-hitting in the seventh and driving in the winning run. With a lefty on the mound, Wedge went to the switch-hitting Morales to force a decision from Angels manager Mike Scioscia. Scioscia stuck with lefty Michael Roth and Morales singled to left to bring in Kyle Seager. Morales pinch-hit for Ibanez, quelling what would have been a lefty-lefty matchup. Here's Wedge on that decision, something he didn't do in similar instances earlier in the year with Ibanez:

"If I didn't use Kendrys right there, I would have a decision to make. Do I leave Ibanez in for the lefty or if I go to Bay, they're going to bring in the right-hander. Sometimes those are the situations because you're going to take your chances left-left or take your chances right-right. Earlier on in the year, I do believe in giving these guys opportunities, whether it be a tough matchup or extending them a little bit ... See what they do. I think it's important to do that."

> Seager has an 16-game hitting streak.

> Ibanez's single in the second snapped an 0-for-13 skid.

> The Mariners will face old friend Jason Vargas on Sunday afternoon.